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The value of a single Bitcoin surpassed $1,000 on popular Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox today.
A year ago, it was worth $10.
The value of the crypto-currency has increased by more than 100X since then, and gone up by 500% since the beginning of November. Saying we are in the midst of a Bitcoin boom is putting it lightly. No one knows how high it will go, but signs indicate that the value will just keep rising. Many attribute the recent explosion of Bitcoin’s value to China. However there are other forces at work. Bitcoin started to attract attention from tech and mainstream media, telling stories of Bitcoin millionaires and generating a ton of buzz that brought Bitcoin in from the fringes of the hacker world. Secondly, a crop of startups such as Coinbase are building wallets, exchanges, and mining machines that make it easier to buy, sell, and trade Bitcoins. A couple days ago, a friend chose to pay me back by with a fraction of a Bitcoin rather than cash. That would never have happened a year ago. As the friction of transacting with Bitcoin goes down, more people want to get involved, and the value goes up. One of the arguments against Bitcoin is that it is not useable in the real world. That too, is changing. More than 250 retailers are banding together in Bitcoin Black Friday, so you can make purchases using Bitcoin with almost no payment fees. Virgin Galactic recently announced that it would accept Bitcoin for space flights, and the first Bitcoin ATM in Canada has done nearly $1,000,000 in transactions in less than a month. Bitcoin also got a big legislative win last week, in what the Washington Post described as a “Bitcoin lovefest.” The United States Department of Justice and Securities and Exchanges Commission argued in favor of Bitcoin’s viability in a Senate hearing, receiving support from Congressmen, senior figures from the Obama administration, and justice department and law enforcement officials. The price shot up from $600 to $750 that day, and have continued to climb since.
Bitcoin Black Friday: 250 retailers band together to accept Bitcoin (and fight payment fees)
More than 250 retailers are banding together in Bitcoin Black Friday so that you can buy your Christmas tree, holiday flights, authentic Moroccan rugs, and booze, or pay for your next hot date, all with privacy and safety … in Bitcoin. The goal is more widespread adoption of Bitcoin which, the currency’s founders believe, will make the virtual currency harder to legislate and regulate. “Bitcoin Black Friday is an awesome way to bring the whole Internet community together at a time when Bitcoin needs as much mainstream attention as possible,” said Holmes Wilson, cofounder of Fight for the Future, which is organizing the event. “Even though it seems like Bitcoin is going strong, it won’t be politically safe until it’s widely used by average Internet users — that’s already happening, but we’re speeding things up with Bitcoin Black Friday, and making it fun in the process.” Bitcoin brings plenty of benefits to online retailers, Fight for the Future says. Those include almost no payment fees on transactions. Buyers might not see the multiple fees on transactions currently levied on most online purchases, but vendors certainly do. PayPal, credit cards, and debit cards all have more or less hidden fees. The use of Bitcoin will help Internet merchants set prices just a little bit lower. And, of course, Bitcoin transactions are private and encrypted. Participating companies include OK Cupid, CheapAir.com, the ever-popular software-focused Humble Bundle, GOOD Magazine, CityWineCellar, Shave like Dad, and Exohosting, which is offering 35 percent off web hosting when you pay with Bitcoin. But it’s not just about getting. Fight for the Future is also interesting in promoting giving. As part of Bitcoin Black Friday, the organization has lined up 16 charities who accept Bitcoin, including BitGive, a Philippines relief effort, AntiWar.com, Fight for the Future itself, and Hoodie the Homeless. Oh, and if you want to get really meta, you can spend your Bitcoin on making more Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining companies such as Openrigs and The Bitcoin Mining Outlet are also offering deals on computer equipment to decrypt more cash.
- Bitcoin Black Friday: 250 retailers band together to accept Bitcoin (and fight payment fees) (venturebeat.com)
- Black Friday: A Chance for Bitcoin to Get Some Mainstream Love (entrepreneur.com)
- Bitcoin Black Friday Boasts Over 300 Merchants for Holiday Shopping Event (onbitcoin.com)